We went to a funeral for another one of our elderly friends today. He was almost 85 and almost made it to his 65th wedding anniversary. Together, he and his wife had nine children, one who passed away. We crossed paths often at daily Mass and at adoration. A sweet man, a gentleman, and always seen with his wife, he definitely provided an example of gentleness, faithfulness, integrity, devotion to the rosary and the Mass, and good stewardship. This was probably one of the most light-hearted funerals I have been to. When people goofed up on words in songs, they weren’t afraid to smile and say, “Shall we begin again?” and the monsignor’s homily was definitely light-hearted. He remarked at how much the faith community extends the family, and that is how this gentleman treated our faith community, like family. He said, “He lived what he said he believed.” It is a beautiful thing to go to another funeral for another wonderful man.
Here are some words that struck me today from that experience:
On the back of his prayer card with the picture of Our Lady: A beautiful life that came to an end, he died as he lived, everyone’s friend. In our hearts a memory will always be kept, of one we loved, and will never forget.
From the song, “Here I am, Lord,” that we sang in the beginning:
I the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
From the song, “You are mine,” that we sang before the Eucharistic prayer began:
I am strength for all the despairing,
healing the ones who dwell in shame.
All the blind will see,
the lame will all run free,
and all will know my name.
Do not be afraid I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me,
I will bring you home;
I love you and you are mine.
And the final thing I saw on a family video that was playing in the corner, unnoticed by most: Passing the torch!
Thank you God for giving us companions on this journey! They leave so many messages of your love behind for us to gather and continue on…